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June 2012

May 2012

Miami Bayside Foundation donates $200,000 to Florida Memorial University

FMU donation

From left to right: Julian Coakley, Student Government President and FMU Trustee Member, Kareem Coney, FMU Trustee Member, Nathan Kurland, Miami Bayside Foundation Education Committee Chair, Louis McMillian, Miami Bayside Foundation Trustee Member, Michael B. Smith, FMU Trustee Member, Nicole Ewan, Miami Bayside Foundation Trustee Member, Pamela Weller, Miami Bayside Foundation Vice Chair, Bill Diggs, Miami Bayside Foundation Trustee Member, Adriene B. Wright, FMU Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Fred Jackson, FMU Trustee Member, Dr. Henry Lewis III, FMU President and Charles George, FMU Board of Trustees Chairman.


The Miami Bayside Foundation announced a gift of $200,000 to Florida Memorial University to support access to higher education for City of Miami residents. A portion of the funds, $10,000, will be immediately used for student scholarships during the upcoming 2012-2013 year, while the remaining will support the establishment of an endowment for students interested in business and entrepreneurship from the City of Miami.

Founded in 1988, the Miami Bayside Foundation seeks to stimulate economic development in the City of Miami and provide educational opportunities. As part of this mission, today’s donation will provide talented students within the city the resources needed to pursue their academic and professional goals at Florida Memorial University. 

“We are grateful to have this opportunity to partner with the Miami Bayside Foundation to give minority students from the City of Miami greater access to a high-quality education at Florida Memorial University,” said Adriene B. Wright, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “At Florida Memorial, we take pride in producing the highest return on investment for our supporters and the highest quality education for our students.”

As South Florida’s only Historically Black College or University (HBCU), Florida Memorial is also the third oldest institution of higher learning in the state. Nearly 90 percent of all undergraduate students at FMU are minority students, while the campus also serves many commuting City of Miami residents.  

“It is with great honor that the Miami Bayside Foundation announces today its partnership with one of our area’s leading institutions,” said Nathan Kurland, chairman of the Foundation’s education committee. “With such a culturally diverse student body, Florida Memorial University embodies and reflects our organization’s mission by continuing to advance our community. We are proud to assist in offering educational opportunities to thousands of students through a scholarship program.”


Black Hospitality Initiative of Greater Miami Celebrates their Founders and Supporters at Recognition Reception

The Black Hospitality Initiative of Greater Miami (BHI) will host their 1st Annual “Honoring Our Past and Celebrating Our Future" reception on Thursday, June 28th, 2012 at Kovens Conference Center Rooftop, FIU Campus, (3000 NE 151 Street, Miami, FL 33181) from 5:30pm -7:30pm. Entertainment for the reception will be provided by Caribbean Music Farm- Steel Drum Entertainment. Honorees include: Merrett R. Stierheim, Former Superintendent Miami Dade County Schools and Former President of Greater Miami Convention and Bureau (Tourism Pioneer Award); Attorney At Law H.T. Smith (Tourism Pioneer Award) Outstanding Contribution to Tourism: R. Donahue Peebles (Chairman & CEO Peebles Corporation; Distinguished Service Award (North Bay Village Commissioner Stuart Blumberg (Former President of Greater Miami and the Beaches and Former BHI Chairman); Dr. Larry Rice(VP Dean of Academic Affairs at Johnson Wales and Former BHI Chairman).

The BHI initiative was established in 1991 as a non-profit 501© 3 organization by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor’s Bureau(GMCVB) to advance economic participation and open doors of opportunity for African Americans and Blacks of African descent in the Greater Miami Visitors Industry. The areas of focus include: Advocacy, Talent Development and Career Coaching. Some of BHI’s impressive achievements include: BHI Minority Scholarship Endowment at Florida International University that is valued at more than $441,496.40; BHI graduates have emerged as industry leaders in hotels, cruise lines, restaurants, and entrepreneurs and as educators in Miami and across the country; and the 2012 Hospitality Open Golf Tournament(H.O.T. Challenge) and Silent Auction raised 125,000.00.

To register to attend the reception and learn more about the Black Hospitality Initiative please visit


Political Prizes and Surprises: Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson to challenge Commissioner Barbara Jordan in race for County Commission District 1 seat

Mayor+Shirley+GibsonThe players are beginning to lineup in what will likely be another hotly contested political campaign season in Miami-Dade County. Auto magnate Norman Braman added term-limited Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson to his ‘reform’ slate to challenge District 1 Commissioner Barbara Jordan. Gibson made the announcement during her farewell State of the City Address last night and Commissioner Jordan was present. That race just got way more interesting so stay tuned.

Other reported candidates on Braman’s slate include: Alison Austin (against Audrey Edmonson); State Rep. Luis Garcia (against Bruno Barreiro) and Alice Peña (against Dennis Moss). These folks are taking quite a risk joining the Braman slate because you know the race card will be used in the black community many times during what will surely amount to a nasty and bitter campaign. Let's see if voters view the Braman slate as reform or sell-outs or more of the same.


Heat lead series against Pacers 3-2

The Miami Heat are one win away form the NBA Eastern Conference finals with an outstanding victory over the Indiana Pacers last night at the AAA in downtown Miami. It was a battle from the beginning with blood and more physical injuries.

This series has been very physical and the blood, bandages and flagrant fouls are proof of the hardball that has been played. Pacers forward Danny Granger had to leave the game with a sprained left ankle. He was up to his usual dirty ball playing. In an earlier interview that amounted to a whine and cheese party, Granger went Rodney Dangerfield and said he plays the Heat aggressively because his team doesn’t get any respect.

LeBron James played more beautiful basketball and the Heat vibed their way to a 115-83 shellacking of the Pacers. This will either be a six game series with the Heat winning at Indiana on Thursday or the full seven-game series with a win in Miami on Saturday.

Miami Dade College to Host Florida Commissioner of Education and the College Summit Florida Awards May 21

Miami Dade College (MDC) will host the College Summit Florida Awards featuring Gerard RobinsonFlorida Commissioner of Education, as keynote speaker,at 11:30 a.m. Monday, May 21, at the Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami.

Robinson will speak to 300 high school seniors and educators from 13 Miami-Dade and Broward high schools, all of whom are making a difference in creating a "college-going culture" in their schools. In addition to the Commissioner’s speech, individual students and schools will be recognized by organizations such as Deloitte, The Children’s Trust and Darden Foundation.

WHAT:     College Summit Florida Awards featuring Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson as Keynote Speaker

WHEN:     Monday, May 21

WHERE:   Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, Chapman Conference Center, Building 3, 300 NE Second Ave.


Honey Shine Gives Thanks for 10 Great Years

10th Annual “Hats Off” Luncheon Highlights the Accomplishments of

Young Girls and Supporters of the Honey Shine Mentoring Program


_JOW3537Alonzo and Tracy Wilson Mourning

Miami, FL - Happiness, love, and good fortune, was at the heart of the themed 10th Annual “Hats Off” Luncheon held Tuesday, May 8, 2012, at Jungle Island, to benefit the Honey Shine Mentoring Program, founded by Tracy Wilson Mourning, wife of NBA Champion Alonzo Mourning.

For the past 10 years, Honey Shine has mentored hundreds of girls in the community, 15 of which have successfully graduated and gone on to higher education with funds raised through Hats Off. “The luncheon was amazing. Our Honey Bugs were glowing and the community support was stellar”, said Tracy.

Honey Shine Members and Co-chairs Cathy Blank and Monisha Melwani helped lead the effort, resulting in a successful silent auction and Camp Honey Shine appeal. Between the Membership program, ticket sales, auction, and appeal, $250,000 was raised for the program. Special recognition was given to Steering Committee Member of the Year, Ayana Rodriguez, and Honey Bug of the Year, Jasmine Thompson, who was selected for her overall achievements in the program. To add, two outstanding role models, Tahiese Beckford and Jonaura Wisdom, were honored with the Mentor of the Year Award.

Additional funding for Camp Honey Shine is still needed. $50 can sponsor a day of camp for one Honey Bugs or $250 for a week of camp. For additional programming information or to make a donation, visit

_JOW3567Neki Mohan, WPLG Local 10 anchor, and Jailyn Anderson

_JOW3461Guests arriving in the silent auction area


Photographer: Jo Winstead



The Honey Shine Mentoring Program works to empower young girls to shine as women through bi-weekly workshops and summer camp that help encourage the balance of mind, body, and soul in girls and women by providing nurturing experiences that enlighten their paths and empower their future.


Overtown Music Project's 2nd Annual Gospel Brunch, Saturday, May 19th

Don't miss "One Miami, United," Overtown Music Project's 2nd Annual Gospel Brunch on Saturday, May 19th from 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Join old and new friends for a non-denominational community service with soul-stirring music and some serious soul food (i.e. Miss Vivian's homemade sweet potato pie and Yardbird's Mama’s Chicken Biscuits).

Miami's civic and community heroes will come together to commemorate one of Miami's oldest communities. The event takes place at the historic Bethel A.M.E. Church in Overtown and welcomes the community from within and outside of Overtown. 

Tickets are $25 and you can purchase them here:

(Tickets are gratis for members of the Overtown community.)

Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Freshmen to Compete at National Forensic League’s National Speech and Debate Tournament

Miami, FL _ Keyanna Francois and Carmen Pierre, both freshmen at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame 6 to 12 Prep, have qualified for the 2012 Lincoln Financial Group/National Forensic League’s (NFL) National Speech and Debate Tournament to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana in June.

The National Forensic League has run the National Speech & Debate Tournament continuously since 1931.  This year students from across the country and as far away as China will compete for more than $200,000 in college scholarships in one of eleven main events – Policy Debate, Public Forum Debate, Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Congressional Debate-House, Congressional Debate-Senate, Original Oratory, United States Extemporaneous Speaking, International Extemporaneous Speaking, Humorous Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation, and Duo Interpretation.

Francois and Pierre hope to find sponsors to help offset the cost of their trip. Anyone wishing to donate should contact Mr. David Monaco at or 305.751.8367 * 58.





For 51 years, Archbishop Curley Notre Dame has celebrated many achievements including State Champions in Original Oratory and Humorous Interpretation, and National Champion in Humorous Interpretation.  On Memorial Day weekend, team captain Taylor Altidor, will compete at the National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Tournament in Baltimore.  For more information about school teams and other programs, visit

Miami-Dade Schools get high rankings

Congratulations to the twenty-five Miami-Dade County Public Schools that ranked in the Top 100 in Florida by U.S. News & World Report. The #1 school, DASH, ranked #16 in the nation and the #2 school, Young Women’s Prep, ranked #26 in the nation. That’s awesome!

Here is the complete list of Miami-Dade County Public Schools that ranked in the Top 100.



Design & Architecture Senior High School (DASH)


Young Women's Preparatory Academy


International Studies Charter High School


MAST Academy


Coral Reef Senior High School


Doral Performing Arts & Entertainment Academy


New World School of the Arts


Miami Beach Senior High School


Mater Academy East Charter High School


Doral Academy Charter High School


Southwest Miami High School


South Miami Senior High School


Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High


Coral Gables Senior High School


Felix Varela Senior High School


John A. Ferguson Senior High School


Robert Morgan Educational Center


Ronald W. Reagan/Doral Senior High School


Miami Sunset Senior High School


Miami Coral Park Senior High


Miami Lakes Educational Center


Barbara Goleman Senior High School


G. Holmes Braddock Senior High


Miami Springs Senior High School


William H. Turner Technical Arts High School


Click here for complete report on Miami-Dade County Public Schools.






Say it Ain't So: Gun range targets that look like Trayvon Martin!

Profiting from FEAR and HATE

On this Mother's Day weekend, I am sending up a special prayer for Sybrina Fulton the mother of slain Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin and his father, Tracy Martin. It seems some folks just won't allow their son to rest in peace. 


In the past couple of days, news sources have reported the Hiller Armament Company of Virginia has been selling gun targets that look like Trayvon Martin, complete with a hoodie, Skittles, and iced tea.

It's not just vile, it's possibly illegal: Virginia law says that no one can profit off of the likeness of any person without his consent -- even if that person has been killed. But as soon as reporters started asking questions, the Hiller Armament Company shut down its website and disconnected its phone.

Tahir Duckett lives in Virginia, and he wants Virginia's Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, to investigate the Hiller Armament Company and punish them if they have broken the law.

Click here to sign Tahir's petition demanding that Attorney General Cuccinelli investigate the Hiller Armament Company for selling gun targets made to look like Trayvon Martin.



(1) Sign the petition at

(2) Spread the word about this petition to everyone you know.

Thank you!